I want to setup a home dvr with 4 color cameras for outdoor use for security on my property. There are so many options out there I dont know where to start. I am computer savy and have been working in the IT business for 15 years. Can anyone reccomend a tested solution for the home, looking to spend between 400-800. I dont need a PC, have many. Thanks everyone.
Take a look on ebay. I bought an Axis unit there and there are others (brand new) as well. For under $400 you can get a 4 channel DVR with inputs, motion detection and a good size hard drive as well as internet access. The rest of your budget will get you the cameras. I prefer this solution to using a PC as it's stand alone and rock solid reliable.
USB is a desktop solution. It is for desktop peripherals, not for powering outdoor cameras.
Multicamera systems do no use USB. In fact, most USB camera drivers have problems if more than one camera tries to use the same driver (ie. so your cameras would have to be different manufacturers or models). So that means either using a dedicated multichannel DVR or PCI card and a computer.
There are also IP cameras (and the wireless IP ones), but their capture ability and resolution suck unless you're going to pay $$$ per camera (plus the software needed to manage a multi-camera setup).
Don't bother with wireless analog cameras, they are a joke unless you buy professional tranceivers or are only sending about 20 feet and don't have a cordless phone or wireless network.
Anyway, you don't really say what your price range is or what capabilities you're looking for, so here's something super cheap (watch for URL wrap):
There are plenty of cheap 4 and 8 channel PCI cards out there in the closeout market.